Vatican, 07 June, 2022 / 7:39 pm (ACI Africa).
Pope Francis has encouraged the leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo in Nigeria and the people of God there to remain faithful to the Gospel message, which they need to continue defending with courage.
In a Monday, June 6 telegram, Pope Francis reacts to the Pentecost Sunday attack on St. Francis Xavier Owo Catholic Parish of Ondo Diocese that involved gunmen who reportedly fired at Catholic worshippers and detonated explosives. Reports indicate that dozens were killed, some Nigerian media reporting that many children were among the dead.
In the telegram from the Vatican Secretary of State, the Holy Father says he is praying “for the conversion of those blinded by hatred and violence.”
“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific attack at St. Francis Church in Owo, and he assures you and all those affected by this act of unspeakable violence of his spiritual closeness,” Pietro Cardinal Parolin says in the message addressed to Bishop Jude Ayodeji Arogundade of Ondo Diocese.
The Vatican Secretary of State adds, “In commending the souls of the dead to the loving mercy of Almighty God and imploring divine healing and consolation upon the injured and those who are grieving, His Holiness prays for the conversion of those blinded by hatred and violence so that they will choose instead the path of peace and righteousness.”